YouTube Warned to Remove Koran Film
By Patrick Goodenough
http://www.cnsnews. com/ViewCulture. asp?Page= /Culture/ archive/200804/ CUL20080
402b.html
CNSNews.com International Editor
April 02, 2008

link to you tube-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37w-aXGk8M0

(CNSNews.com) – The government of the world’s most populous Islamic state
says YouTube has two days to take down a Dutch lawmaker’s provocative film
on the Koran or it will block access to the popular video-sharing Web site.

The warning by Indonesia came as the U.N.’s primary human rights watchdog
ended a month-long session amid allegations by Western member-states and
non-governmental organizations that Islamic nations are working to curtail
free speech.

Geert Wilder’s 16-minute film linking Islam’s revered text with terrorism
has sparked protests in a number of countries. It also drew criticism from
the Arab League, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and the
European Union.

In Indonesia, a former Dutch colony, Information Minister Mohammad Nuh told
a press briefing in Jakarta Tuesday he had sent a letter to YouTube
demanding the film, “Fitna,” be removed. If it did not comply, he said, the
government in cooperation with Internet service providers would block the
site.

As of early Wednesday afternoon Indonesian time, attempts to view at least
one <http://www.youtube. com/watch? v=6_D1oJG1OBc> earlier-available upload
of the movie on YouTube brought up a message saying, “This video has been
removed due to terms of use violation.”

But the film has been uploaded on YouTube by multiple users and can still be
found with a simple search in both its English and Dutch versions.

In response to queries, a YouTube spokesperson said the site allows people
“to express themselves and to communicate with a global audience.”

“The diversity of the world in which we live — spanning the vast dimensions
of ethnicity, religion, nationality, language, political opinion, gender,
and sexual orientation, to name a few — means that some of the beliefs and
views of some individuals may offend others,” she said.

Videos that breach YouTube guidelines are removed, and some graphic material
is restricted if not suitable for all audiences, the spokesperson added.

Wilders first uploaded
<http://www.cnsnews. com/ForeignBurea us/archive/ 200803/FOR200803 28a.html>
Fitna late last week on a British video-sharing site, LiveLeak, where
several million views were recorded before the company took it down, citing
threats against its staff.

LiveLeak later lifted the suspension, saying it had tightened security
measures, only to have Wilders himself withdraw the film, saying he planned
to edit it because of copyright infringement complaints, and would upload an
amended version later.

By then, however, the film – which includes a mix of images of terror
attacks, verses from the Koran, and menacing quotes by radical clerics and
others – was already available on numerous other sites on the Internet,
including YouTube.

In a third consecutive day of small-scale protests in Indonesia, Muslims
demonstrated outside the Dutch Embassy in Jakarta on Tuesday, some of them
calling for Wilders to be killed for insulting Islam, according to the
official news agency Antara.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who has banned Wilders from entering the
country, urged Indonesians to remain calm, but also said world leaders had a
moral obligation to prevent religious or cultural defamation.

The Dutch government has repeatedly distanced itself from the film, while
noting that the country’s constitution protects freedom of expression. It
has posted statements to that effect on the Web sites of a number of its
diplomatic missions, including the embassy in Jakarta.

But Indonesia’s Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), a party with strong Islamic
credentials that supports Yudhoyono, said that unless the Netherlands
apologizes to the world’s Islamic countries, Muslims everywhere should
boycott Dutch products (similar calls have been made in neighboring Malaysia
and other Muslim countries.)

‘From protecting rights to eroding them’

PKS lawmaker Al Muzzammil Yusuf also said the Indonesian government should
take a more proactive role in efforts at the U.N. to set up a convention
outlawing harassment of a religion.

Moves towards that goal, lent impetus by the 2006 uproar over the
publication of newspaper cartoons satirizing Mohammed, are being led in the
world body by the OIC.

Last December the 57-member Islamic bloc succeeded in getting the U.N.
General Assembly to pass a first-ever resolution on the “defamation” of
religion.

And last week in Geneva, as Fitna hit the Internet, the U.N.’s Human Rights
Council passed an OIC-led resolution expressing concern about attempts to
identify Islam with terrorism, and urging countries to pass anti-defamation
laws to protect Muslims.

Even more controversially, the council on Friday also amended the mandate of
a special investigator on the freedom of expression, requiring him now also
to report on cases “in which the abuse of the right of freedom of expression
constitutes an act of racial or religious discrimination. ”

Further, it adopted another amendment to the mandate — put forward by Cuba
— referring to the importance of media reporting information “in a fair and
impartial manner.”

As the council ended its month-long session on Tuesday, the issue again
exposed sharp differences between Islamic member states and Western ones,
which had abstained in last week’s vote.

U.S. envoy Warren Tichenor — speaking as an observer, as the U.S. is not a
member — said in a closing statement that the resolution changing the
investigator’ s role would have the effect of criminalizing free expression.

“It is a sad day when the Human Rights Council turns from protecting rights
to eroding them,” he said.

Pakistan, speaking on behalf of the OIC, said the resolution was an attempt
to require people to exercise free speech responsibly. He denied that it
would curtail freedom of expression.

The U.N.’s freedom of expression investigator is a Kenyan jurist, Ambeyi
Ligabo.

The change to his mandate came two weeks after he delivered a report to the
47-member council in which he voiced concern about attempts to expand the
scope of defamation laws beyond the protection of individuals, for instance
to cover religion.

At the time, some Islamic member states reprimanded
<http://www.cnsnews. com/ForeignBurea us/archive/ 200803/FOR200803 13a.html>
Ligabo, suggesting that he was not taking the religion issue sufficiently
seriously.

The council’s amendments to the freedom of expression mandate drew strong
criticism from several NGOs.

Press freedom advocacy group Reporters Without Borders called the changes
“dramatic” and said the growing influence of the OIC in the Human Rights
Council was “disturbing. ”

“All of the council’s decisions are nowadays determined by the interests of
the Muslim countries or powerful states such as China or Russia that know
how to surround themselves with allies,” it said.

The free speech non-governmental organization Article 19 joined with an
Egypt-based rights group, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, in a
joint statement saying the council process was being repeatedly misused “to
push for an agenda that has nothing to do with strengthening human rights
and everything to do with protecting autocracies and political point
scoring.”

“For the first time in the 60 year history of U.N. human rights bodies, a
fundamental human right has been limited simply because of the possible
violent reaction by the enemies of human rights,” said Roy Brown of the
International Humanist and Ethical Union.

And Human Rights Watch said the changes to the mandate “clearly calls into
question the very essence of media freedom and independence. ”

The OIC and its allies effectively dominate the Human Rights Council, as 26
of the 47 seats are earmarked for African and Asian countries

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